The owner of a Marathon mobile-home park is now facing 31 more felony charges since being jailed for the third time since January.
Ralph Mutchnik, 72, owns the Galway Bay Mobile Home Park at mile marker 47.5 oceanside. He was arrested at his Miami home Wednesday morning on a warrant for grand theft, filing false documents, uttering forged instruments and fraud.
According to the arrest warrant, Mutchnik forged signatures on seven bills of sale and titles for trailers in the park, purposely botched the sale amounts and as a result paid less in sales tax owed to the state — about $16,000 less.
In July 2015, George Amerman bought a trailer in the park for $28,000. Elaine Law-Rose, manager of Galway Bay, told Amerman to write an additional check for $1,900 to cover title transfer fees and taxes and to leave the payee line blank, and that Mutchnik would take care of the rest, the warrant information says.
Investigators with the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office found Mutchnik recorded the trailer sale for only $500, paid $75 in sales tax, $73.50 for the title fee and pocketed the rest of the money from Amerman’s check, according to the report.
Mutchnik did this twice to Amerman on two different sales and allegedly pocketed almost $5,000, authorities say.
The same scenario happened with five other sales and each buyer made a check out to Mutchnik with the payee line left blank, the warrant says. Total, Mutchnik pocketed $15,291 of the $19,380 in checks.
The total amount of the seven trailers sold was $308,500, for which $18,510 should have been paid in state taxes. Instead, the bills of sale totaled $43,000 and Mutchnik paid a total of $2,715 in state tax for all seven sales, investigators say.
Mutchnik reportedly used a Hallandale Beach agency to do the title and registration work, and managers there told investigators Mutchnik would bring all the required paperwork with signatures already signed, yet the victims say they never signed those documents. Wednesday, he was booked into the Plantation Key jail with bond set at $77,500 and released hours later after posting surety bonds, typically 10 percent of the total amount.
Total, he’s facing 35 felonies for alleged trailer park-related crimes. Mutchnik pleaded not guilty to felony charges of criminal mischief, grand theft over $20,000 and filing false documents against real or personal property in January at the Marathon courthouse for his first arrest of the year, Jan. 11.
Investigators say he unlawfully damaged and ransacked a trailer owned by Andrew Garshott in the weeks following Hurricane Irma in an effort to render the dwelling unlivable in the eyes of city officials.
Mutchnik’s second arrest was Jan. 29 for allegedly destroying a shed belonging to tenant Leroy Mikolowski in the weeks following the storm. His arraignment is at the end of this month for felony charges for property damage over $1,000 and larceny.
He is also being sued by the Galway Bay homeowners association, members of which say their rent has gone up a whopping 48 percent in the last three years.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219